I am actually a pretty good electrician, but am baffled by what I found today.
During a remodel and adding a few new boxes for future lights, I received a shock from a neutral wire and a floating ground.
The house is old and there are no grounds on most of the circuits. I was confused for there is no ground except for about 20 ft going from one new box to another but not connected to panel ground. In fact the ground is terminated with a wire nut in each box but are not connected to anything. Yet when I tested the neutral to ground voltage, I found 48 volts.
Subsequently I tested a few other outlets in the house and also found neutral to ground voltage of 48 v. I then unplugged all devices. Voltage to ground disappeared. Only when I plugged in a device with a ground did the neutral to ground voltage reappear. I then went to the main panel thinking I had a bad neutral somewhere, and disconnected each circuit one at a time and found no neutral to ground issues at the panel and the neutral voltage only disappeared when I turned off hot to circuit.
Different circuits were found to have neutral to ground voltage only when a grounded plug was put into that outlet. I assumed that the ground of the device was allowing me to read neutral voltage. Hot to neutral is correct everywhere. I am baffled. Suggestions?